Top 10 – Fifteen Years Ago

In the earlier days of this site, I ran a top ten list of the most popular contemporary jazz at the time. This chart was based on sales and radio play. Here were the top 10 from December 5, 1997!

  1. Jonathan Butler, Do You Love Me?, N2K Encoded Music
  2. Bob James, Playin’ Hooky, Warner Bros.
  3. Boney James - Sweet Thing recordingBoney James, Sweet Thing, Warner Bros.
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Black Diamond, Peak/Windham Hill
  5. Brian Culbertson, Secrets, Bluemoon
  6. Chris Botti, Midnight Without You, Verve Forecast
  7. Candy Dulfer, For the Love of You, N2K Encoded Music
  8. Joyce Cooling, Playing It Cool, Heads Up
  9. David Benoit, American Landscape, GRP
  10. Earl Klugh, The Journey, Warner Bros.

The Day After: Jazz Is #1

Grammy winners usually see a bump in sales. So, what is the best-selling recording today on Amazon.com? It’s not Amy Winehouse and it’s not Kanye. Jazz rules the music sales charts today. Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters may double its sales in one day. It’s only sold about 53,000 copies since it’s release last autumn.

Herbie Sales Jump 967%

I know I’ve written a lot about this already but this is one of, if not the, biggest thing to happen in jazz in years. I’ve already posted about the immediate sales impact for River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock’s winning recording for the Grammy Album of the Year. Now the sales for the week are in. Sales jumped an astronomical 967%. It vaulted from 159 to 5 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. A jazz album in the top five?! Has that happened in my lifetime? It sold 54,000 copies. I thought it had sold 53,000 total so far but Variety says the 54k number is just short of its cumulative sales. It’s awesome to see jazz in the mainstream press, as it’s increasingly rare unless it’s an obituary. Herbie will receive more mainstream exposure on Friday, February 22, when he’ll perform with singer Luciana Souza on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”